What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Food Junkie Favorites: Kidney Bean Salad! I find this chilled high protein dish a complement to any menu. It is especially delightful for Summer road trip outings, lake-side picnics, and cookouts on the deck. Store it in a glass jar for easy serving or make up individual potluck portions. For an exciting, easy, and often overlooked alternative that is vegan and gluten-free, add these ingredients to your grocery list and take a trip on the wild side.
KIDNEY BEAN SALAD
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 smidgen sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup celery, chopped
1 can red kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
Mix mayonnaise, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Blend in onions. Add celery, beans, and relish. Chill two hours before serving.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Take a Seat at the Table: Frijoles Negros Stew! The popular dish of Cuba and Latin America translates to “black beans”. This highly nutritious legume is catching on around my household, especially following a day of slow-cooker roast pork. I like the smoky flavor to balance out the onions, peppers, and spices. Read on to see how simple it is to indulge in a thick, hearty stew for your next nutritious meal.
FRIJOLES NEGROS STEW
2-15 ounce cans of black beans, with sauce
1 can beef consommé
1 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded pork
1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
In a 2-quart saucepan, pour one can of black beans with liquid. Mash beans to a thick paste. Add the other can of black beans with liquid plus the beef consommé. Blend well. Microwave the chopped onion 2 minutes on high. Add to the stew. Add shredded pork, liquid smoke, cumin powder, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Stir until combined. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Garnish with cheddar cheese, green onions, and salsa. Serve piping hot.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? A Burst of Flavor: Traditional Four-Bean Combo! This is an amazing side dish you can slow cook in the crockpot and forget about it. The end result is a sweet and savory baked bean assortment that will explode with flavor and compliment anything you plan to pair with it, especially grilled meats. The presentation is a color wheel of enticing hues giving it center-stage on the dinner plate. Leftovers only taste better and better as the flavors get swallowed up in each other. The next time you crave something different and nutritious, give this recipe a whirl.
TRADITIONAL FOUR-BEAN COMBO
1/2 pound bacon, sautéd and diced
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup brown sugar
15 ounces kidney beans, drained
15 1/2 ounces yellow waxed beans, drained
42 ounces pork and beans, with sauce
3 cups garden green beans, cooked al dente
Combine bacon, onion, mustard, vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add the beans and stir together to blend the colors and flavors. Transfer to a crock pot. Cook on HIGH until beans are bubbly. Turn to LOW setting and simmer for 5-7 hours. Unplug crock pot. Let stand 15-20 minutes before serving.
Eating My Way Through the Holidays! Yuletide Favs: Green Bean Casserole! Can we ever get enough of this all-time favorite side dish? I think not! It seems there are all sorts of variations on this classic holiday casserole. Some of my friends only use French-style green beans while others prefer freshly snapped. And the seasonings are all over the map from Hawaiian sea salt medleys to crushed Midwest garden herbs. I keep it simple because, honestly, once you add the French fried onion rings, everything else takes a back seat.
GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
2 cans whole green beans, drained and cut-up
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1/2 cup light cream
1/8 teaspoon Mrs. Dash herb and garlic seasoning
1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 1/2 cups French fried onions
Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a medium casserole dish with nonstick spray. Combine green beans, cream of mushroom soup, light cream, herb seasoning, and salt. Mix well. Fold in 1/2 cup of French fried onion pieces. Place in casserole dish. Spread evenly. Arrange remaining French fried onion rings over top around the edges leaving the center open. Bake 30-35 minutes.
What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Hearty Ham and Bean Soup. I’m such a morning person which is why I can throw together a meal, as soon as I grab my first cup of coffee, and let it slow cook all day long. The aroma wafting throughout the kitchen is enough to make your mouth water in anticipation. This hearty bean soup can be simmered stove-top or in the crock pot. You choose.
HEARTY HAM AND BEAN SOUP
8 cups water
1 pound bag of dried Mixed Beans
1 can (8oz.) tomato sauce
2 1/4 pounds smoked ham chunks
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon instant beef bouillon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 potatoes, cubed
2 medium carrots, cut up
2 stalks celery, cut up
3 whole bay leaves
Heat water and dried mixed beans to boiling in Dutch oven; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 hour.
Add tomato sauce, smoked ham chunks, onion, instant bouillon, salt, pepper, and garlic to beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about two hours. Do not boil or beans will burst. Skim fat if necessary.
Stir potatoes, carrots, and celery into soup. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Add whole bay leaves. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about one hour. Stir in 1 cup of water for thinner consistency. Makes 8 servings.